Don’t ask Marco D’Amore to make a documentary about Naples | Rolling Stone Italy

Ask Marco D’Amore to make a documentary on Naples and he will give you a spades. «Luciano Stella and Roberto Pisoni offered it to me one day at lunch, but I’m not capable, that’s not what interests me. However, I can produce a vision and to that good Christian Francesco Ghiaccio, who by now indulges all my follies, I said: “Fuck it, let’s feel free”. And we started building a film for stations, starting from the clichés that told the city: ‘pizza, mermaid, Pullicenel, people, magic». And what is the first great stereotype to start from? “See Naples and then die”, wrote Goethe. “And I i’m dead, literally. But that scene, which was the lighting for writing, made us think of two worlds: that of the surface and that of the subsoil».

I think to describe magical Naples (at the cinema on December 5-6-7, a Sky and MAD ENTERTAINMENT production, distributed by Vision Distribution), Marco’s second directorial film after The Immortal, it is necessary to coin an adjective: “damorian”. “I’m telling you the truth: it’s the closest thing I’ve ever done to me,” he ends up confessing to me. magical Naples starts as a fairly classic documentary, even a mockumentary if you like, with D’Amore and his crew going to discover the myths and legends of the Neapolitan city. And then comes a coup de théâtre that changes everything. Until now Marco’s life as an author had been linked to Gomorrah and to his sensational character, Ciro di Marzio: «It is clear that everything I have done before necessarily had to correspond to a grammar that someone had already written with great awareness, even if it is true that inImmortal I was already cheating on her a bit.’

And the new course begins with a very unsettling, risky, theatrical project in the best sense of the term: «Con magical Naples I began to somewhat sanction my identity, which lies in a certain reluctance to want to codify a genre, a language, in favor of a freedom that takes the risk of being able to stage a story through the emotionality that things rather they suggest a pre-established style». Yes, because describing Naples is practically impossible: «And it’s also impossible to define a genre through which to do it, I want to be free to go through the documentary, the fiction film, the video clip, some horror moments and others of comedy, because me the feeling of the city I want to tell suggests it. In the future, I would like to be able to apply this freedom to the stories I want to translate into images, trying to stay on the breath of feelings and bending the language to them».

magical Naples it begins on the surface, among the people chatting at the window and greeting each other in the market: «Do you know why that part is important? Because it’s a cliché about the city that has become boring today, but that’s exactly how it is: we went completely free, we took a film camera without notifying anyone and we blocked the streets. Those first 20 minutes are a synthesis of the synthesis of all the hours we shot and all the mess we created. I really wanted to feel the breath of a city that still makes the meeting a substantial reason to stay on this earth. Naples is a city that thirsts to speak, to be listened to, to welcome». Speaking of this, there is a moment later in the film in which D’Amore meets Partenope (played by an always excellent Marianna Fontana) and which seems to be a dialogue between him and the city: «You have fully grasped the meaning, we we build narrative principles that make the city coincide with the siren. And so I’m talking to the city, which is very hard on me, as it should be, because it says: “I sing and you don’t listen to me”, it asks me how love is, because it hasn’t known it yet , suggests to me how dangerous it is to follow and listen to her».

However, Naples is also inseparable from its artists: «From Eduardo to Totò and Peppino to a journey of 400 years of Neapolitan music, and then continuous quotations from literature, from theatrical and cinematographic anthologies that have shaped me in some way and that ended up inside to the movie”. But Marco is also keen to underline this: «My film is a failure, it is unfinished. In fact, in the representation of a city there are many, too many aspects that I have not mentioned. However, I did it with a positive spirit, so that this project is also a suggestion for others, who will contest me: “You didn’t say that, you didn’t insert this other one”, so that they can continue».

The experiences that bind Marco to Naples are many: «I have places of my heart depending on the state of mind that moves me, because Naples knows how to be an open, airy, sunny city, but at the same time it can become a dark, dark ravine. There is also a strong clash between these two sides, one of which is fairly unspoken: scientific, industrious Naples, which involves me a lot. In this sense, the example of Raimondo di Sangro, an esoteric prince, a profane scientist who dedicates his entire life to preserving knowledge, so that it may constitute an inheritance for those who will come after him, is a story that touches me greatly, in addition to the fact that for me Cappella Sansevero is a mystical place. And not only for the spirituality that hovers there, but also because it is a place of presences, where you feel that an important time has passed for the city».

magical Naplesyes, but also elusive: «What I can say that I understand, and this is the reason why I age a hundred years in the film, is that a lifetime is not enough to understand everything. What you can do is spend it chasing myths, rumors, trying to listen… Maybe it’s not enough, yet it’s the only way I know to restore dignity to what I deal with. Behind that aging there is also so much of the measure I have of my profession, of a certain way of being in the world». “One does not die of love”, we had written in the cover story that we had dedicated to him precisely for his first work. And Marco is here again Immortal, union of Naples above and below: «I thought about it, and it is no coincidence that that beautiful moment of archive images in which one runs through 100 years of the city’s life ends up in that industrial monster built in Scampia, which instead it had to be an image of renewal. And then we know what story has been told. I end up where I started some time ago.”

And so there magical Naples damoriana becomes an essential step in his essence as an author, see the announcement made in recent days at the Giornate del Cinema in Sorrento: «I’m working on Caracas, a film that will see me behind the camera, and on stage with Toni Servillo, we are preparing it these days». Servillo, Marco’s artistic father: «For me it is the closing of a circle, my ideal trilogy, which starts from theImmortal which represents memory, continues with magical Naples which is the dream and ends with Caracasa vision of the future”.

Don’t ask Marco D’Amore to make a documentary about Naples | Rolling Stone Italy